Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Nibley on Rhetoric X

Nibley on the paradox of rhetoric:
Rhetoric is the art of perfection itself; if it is not perfect, it is nothing, for nothing is sadder than a great attempt that falls short. There is no excuse for stupidity here, let alone immorality; rhetoric should be left strictly alone by those not properly endowed for it. But who is properly endowed? To that question the experts threw up their hands in despair and declared in a single voice that the perfect orator simply does not exist. The choice was between perfection and a fiasco --- and perfection was out of the question. (Hugh Nibley, "Victoriosa Loquacitas," CWHN 10:252-53.)